40-Year-Old Virgin Actor Guilty of Attempted Murder

    Shelley Malil Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union Tribune/ZUMA Press

    This 40-Year-Old Virgin star is staring down a lifetime behind bars.

    Shelley Malil, a character actor best known as one of Steve Carell's SmartTech sidekicks, was found guilty of attempted murder Thursday for a near-fatal knife attack on his girlfriend in 2008.

    Malil said that he didn't mean to stab Kendra Beebe 23 times, but that, when he arrived at her home and saw her with another man, he thought for some reason that the guy was going to attack him and he just started stabbing.

    The jury didn't buy it.

    Prosecutors in the San Diego suburb of Vista painted the 45-year-old Indian-born thesp as a jaded boyfriend upset over their estranged relationship. Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said Malil had carefully planned the ambush of Beebe, a mother of two, waiting for her to come home in the dark.

    Malil took the stand earlier this week, offering up a vague explanation of his actions, saying he didn't realize what he was doing in the "chaos" of the moment, when he found Beebe at home drinking wine with another man.

    In his closing remarks, defense attorney Matt Roberts acknowledged that Malil went overboard by grabbing a knife when he saw Beebe with the other man, but claimed that the actor wielded the blade to defend himself after Beebe hit him over the back of the head.

    "These people have ridiculous drama on a daily basis," Roberts said.

    "I want you to tell me the defendant didn't intend to kill," Watanabe said derisively, holding a large knife in the air and making stabbing motions.

    He told jurors that Malil attacked while Beebe's two children were asleep upstairs. The knife wounds left the 38-year-old insurance company owner with a collapsed lung and a mutilated chin among other injuries.

    Beebe testified earlier in the trial that Malil was riled up after the two had an argument a day earlier.

    The case went to the jury on Wednesday after a three-week trial and it took 3 1/2 hours to reach a verdict.

    In addition to attempted murder, the panel of five women and seven men also found Malil gauilty of assault with a deadly weapon. They acquitted him of residential burglary.

    Beebe, who was in court when the verdict was read, sobbed and hugged the friend standing next to her.

    "I feel a sense of relief, but I have to be honest there is never a win in a situation like this," Beebe told reporters. "I was afraid because he was an actor that the people might believe his bad theatrics. I am pleased to see the justice system did its job properly."

    Malil's attorney left the courthouse without commenting.

    The disgraced actor will remain behind bars in San Diego until his Nov. 18 sentencing. He is facing up to 16 years to life in prison.


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